Beshear calls special legislative session to address COVID-19 state of emergency

September 4, 2021 | 5:19 pm

Updated September 4, 2021 | 5:20 pm

Gov. Andy Beshear

Gov. Andy Beshear is calling for a special legislative session to extend the state of emergency as the state continues to address the pandemic and rising COVID-19 cases.

Following a recent Kentucky Supreme Court ruling, Beshear worked with the General Assembly to assess a call for a special session, which will begin in Frankfort at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Beshear is asking lawmakers to consider legislation to address several topics including:

  • Extending the state of emergency until Jan. 15, 2022
  • Setting forth the criteria regarding the governor’s authority to require facial coverings in indoor settings in certain circumstances
  • Providing additional flexibility for school districts
  • Making an appropriation from the American Rescue Plan Act to support mitigation and prevention activities, such as testing and vaccine distribution. 

“This is one of the most dangerous times we’ve experienced this entire pandemic, with the Delta variant burning through Kentucky and taking more of our loved ones and neighbors,” Beshear said in a release. “It’s also overwhelming more and more of our hospitals and shutting down our schools. We need as many tools as possible to fight this deadly surge in order to save lives, keep our children in school and keep our economy churning.”

More than 7,840 Kentuckians have died from COVID-19 during the last 18 months, with case numbers spiking now because of the Delta variant. In the last two days alone, Beshear announced 69 deaths and more than 10,500 new cases in the commonwealth.

He said there are also record numbers of Kentuckians in the hospital (2,365), in intensive care (661) and on ventilators (425).

Kentucky has reported nearly 600,000 total COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic.

September 4, 2021 | 5:19 pm

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